David Gergen: Trump Claim He Just Found Out About Shanahan Family Allegations Yesterday ‘Either a Huge Lie’ or ‘Gross Mismanagement’
CNN senior political analyst David Gergen dismissed President Donald Trump’s claim that he only learned of the abuse allegations acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan‘s family Monday: “That’s either a huge lie or represents gross mismanagement in the White House, or perhaps both.”
Speaking with OutFront host Erin Burnett, Gergen’s comments came after an Axios story from earlier in the day that reported White House officials had known about the allegations for at least a month. According to Axios, Shanahan visited the White House on Tuesday to tell the president he was withdrawing his name as nominee to fill the role permanently.
Gergen, a White House counselor to four presidents, threw cold water on the notion that Trump would’ve heard about these allegations so late in the process.
“The story doesn’t add up,” Gergen said. “Frankly, it’s just impossible to believe they wouldn’t bring it to him. This is not the first time they’ve gone through violent and domestic relations in which they haven’t picked up on it and done something about it. You know, the red flags would start flying immediately once you started looking at this file.”
Back in February, White House staff secretary Rob Porter abruptly resigned after domestic abuse allegations against him from his two ex-wives came to light. That episode sparked outrage at the Trump White House for letting someone with a checkered past seemingly bypass the rigorous security vetting necessary to work in such a high-profile position.
“So, I have to believe they started talking to the president about it,” Gergen added. “He doesn’t let anything go on in there that’s of importance, and not go by him. I have to believe he did it, I don’t know why he’s lying about it. But he’s also left his staff looking like: ‘why the hell didn’t you tell [Trump]?'”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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